I was lucky enough to hear a speech by Mary Curnock Cook OBE, Chief Executive of UCAS at the weekend.
She addressed a speech day at a girls independent school and the message was very clear:-
- read as much as possible
- and be bold
Her own career and life has certainly taken the sentiment to heart. Starting out as a secretary and gravitating towards marketing and gaining an OBE. This is achievement enough however at the age of 41 she took the bold step of deciding she wanted to run a national organisation associated with education. This was made possible by studying for a masters and working in the ministry of education. The period at Westminster was challenging but certainly a period of her life she enjoyed and would not have missed.
The word bold was very relevant sitting in a very safe sports hall in a lovely independent girls school. We often hear our children won’t know the jobs they are entering as they don’t exist. This seems to be the favourite line for every Head around the country. Thirty years ago they told us we would have more leisure time than we would know what to do with, this never became a reality. Hard therefore for our children to understand what they want to do if the jobs don’t exist and will this play out.
Bold in Curnock Cook’s speech is not accepting every decision made for you or following your parents footsteps. There could be another route or a bigger adventure after university.
However the word bold does not have to be around the big decisions how about being bold in the small things in life:-
- Speak up at the meeting if you don’t agree
- Wear the yellow jacket to work
- Take a new route home from work – get lost
- Go out to lunch with some-one in the office
- Ring an old friend you have not spoken to for a while
- Present your department to the Executive team
This week take bold into your vocabulary and into your thinking, write down 3 bold things you are going to do this week. My first is to contact Mary Curnock Cook.
For executive coaching or 90 minute workshops please contact firstname.lastname@example.org